Cute, Cute, Cute!

April 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm (Atlanta, Photography, Wildlife, Zoos) (, )

Pandas are guaranteed to draw ooohs and aaahs from zoo visitors.  And the nice thing about writing a blog after visiting the zoo is that I get to learn more about them.

Giant pandas like Po, born 17 months ago to 14-year-old Lun Lun at Zoo Atlanta, are found in only four zoos in the U.S.  Memphis, Washington D.C., and San Diego also.  All are on loan from China for 10 to 12 years, and China owns their cubs, too.  Wild giant pandas are endangered in their cold and damp mountainous habitat among fir and bamboo forests in a small area of southwestern China.  That country has an intensive program to study and save them from extinction, and they are considered National Treasures.  There are only 1600 or so wild Giant Pandas left, and 300 in captivity.

Each of of the four zoos here has a specific research focus on panda well-being, and the fees zoos pay to lease the critters helps their preservation efforts in the wild.  When President Richard Nixon visited China in 1972, Mrs. Nixon remarked that she loved seeing the pandas, so China sent the first ever in America to the Washington, D. C. zoo as a gift that year.

Although classified as carnivores, pandas eat mostly bamboo shoots, leaves and roots.  In captivity they can be finicky eaters, and are fed several varieties of bamboo.

Zoo Atlanta has a Panda Cam so you can watch them playing outside 10 am to 5 pm weekdays.

Read the National Geographic article about how zoos get pandas.

And check out Zoo Atlanta’s panda page.  And Pandas International’s site as well.

1 Comment

  1. Anarya Andir said,

    Awwwwww…they’re so adorable. I want to hug them 😀

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